Jason: Quick, Jeff: tell me your favorite Christmas record of all time.

Jeff: Oh, man. If you’d asked me that during the first couple years of Mellowmas, I would have had an answer for you. Now? I just don’t know.

Jason: This holiday has ruined you. People all over the Internet doing leprechaun dances, and you hate Christmas.

Jeff: It’s sad, isn’t it? I suppose it’s karmic payback for all the audio terror we’ve visited upon our readers.

Jason: Really? You don’t remember?

Jeff: If you had a gun to my head (which probably isn’t more than two or three Mellowmases away), I might reach for Shawn Colvin or Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Christmas records.

Jason: All I remember from Shawn Colvin’s is “In the Bleak Midwinter,” which I guess is appropriate.

Jeff: She also has a song called “Love Came Down at Christmas,” which I really like. And I honestly don’t remember anything from the Mary Chapin Carpenter record, but she makes pretty music, so.

Jason: I still know mine. I’m sure I’ve even mentioned it during Mellowmas or a podcast. Can you guess?

Jeff: Starland Vocal Band!

Jason: You son of a bitch.

Jeff: *leprechaun dance*

Jason: But you are SO close!

Jeff: John Denver?

Jason: John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together!

Jeff: I think you’re probably in pretty good company there. Lots of nostalgia attached to that record.

Jason: Man, I love me some Muppets. Especially around the holidays.

Jeff: Wait, we aren’t going to listen to Lady Gaga today, are we?

Jason: No. And let’s not go there.

Jeff:I watched about 30 seconds of her Thanksgiving special, and I thought of you.

Jason: I watched about the same amount and wept a little.

Jeff: *pats Jason on the back*

Jason: But anyway. I’m always looking for Muppet-related Christmas stuff. Movies, books, songs…

Jeff: I’m really getting nervous.

Jason: No need, pal! I’ve listened to just about everything. There’s only so many times you can put the word “Muppet” into Spotify and find something you haven’t heard before.

So today, I put in the words “Kermit” and “Christmas” instead.

Jeff: Kermit Ruffins Christmas! YES! I’m finally happy on Mellowmas!

Jason: No, this track is called “One More Sleep Til Christmas (feat. Kermit The Frog).” It’s by a band called Raw Thrills.


Jason: Calm down, Jeff. It’s Kermit. WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

Jeff: Jim Henson could die, for starters.

Jason: On my birthday, no less!

Jeff: Oh God! I didn’t know that.

Jason: Yup. Him and Sammy Davis, Jr. Awful day. But we have an opportunity in front of us! Let’s cheer up by listening to Kermit’s guest spot with Raw Thrills.

Jeff: I don’t think this is going to have the intended effect.

Jeff: That isn’t Kermit. Stop it.

Jason: Wait a second. Is this Steve Whitmire?


Jason: I mean, I know Kermit’s voice has changed over the years. But I don’t think this is right.

Jeff: No, this is NOT right. NOTHING about this is right. Including the production.

Jason: This is some asshole pretending to be Kermit, isn’t it?

Jeff: I’m thinking it’s that dork on the album cover.

Jason: Anybody know the phone number for the Disney lawyers?

Jeff: Screw lawyers! The only proper response to this is violence. Anyone got a lead pipe?

Jason: Well, at least it ended quickly. What the hell WAS that? I’ve been plenty disillusioned re: the Muppets over the years. But that was just absolutely wrong.

Jeff: That was awful, just plain awful, but judging from the sweater and the haircut on the album cover, I think “awful” is something Raw Thrills knows quite well.

Jason: Oh crap, Jeff. I just saw the name of the album.

Jeff: Stop it. Stop looking at the album.

Jason: All Good Wishes – A Psychedelic Christmas.

Jeff: That last song was 94 seconds. Let’s just get out of here while there’s still time.

Jason: Wait a sec. Hold on.

Jeff: Please don’t tell me you’ve found a song that features “John Denver.”

Jason: I need to know more. What the hell is this about? Who is this guy? Are all the songs Muppet parodies?

Jeff: Is it too late to convince you that there ARE no more songs?

Jason: The cover…so….much…white….must…listen…to…more….

“Merry Christmas.” How bad could that one be?

Jeff: I think I have an idea, but there’s clearly no talking you out of this.

Jeff: Oh good, a drum machine.

Jason: Casiomas! OH SWEET JESUS

Jeff: *shakes head violently*

Jason: Oh, look! “Harmonies”!

Jeff: I’ve never taken LSD, but I think this is what the Captain and Tennille’s Christmas record might sound like if I did. Seriously, how long do you think this took to record? An afternoon? What took longer — this song, or the album cover?

Jason: I have no idea what’s going on. The vocal is killing me. I think his hair probably took the most time of all of it.

Jeff: Ugh, that stereo panning.

Jason: I don’t find this psychedelic in the slightest, do you?

Jeff: I feel violated. Is that psychedelic? Thank God! A fadeout!


Jeff: THis song should also have been 94 seconds long, if that.

Jason: HOW DARE HE USE KERMIT’S NAME IN VAIN. I have to tell you: if that “Kermit” track was all I had heard, I would have thought, okay, somebody thinks they can do his voice. But now it’s very clear to me that this person hates the Muppets.

Jeff: Aha! I found Raw Thrills online. His name is Zak Mering.

Jason: Does he cop to hating the Muppets?

Jeff: “I come from a family of musicians and entertainers. My father was Sumner Mering, and had a band titled Sumner in 1978-1980 and put out an album on Asylum/Elektra. My mother Pamela Mering releases albums, and my sister plays shows and releases music as Weyes Blood. I create music as a solo project under the name Raw Thrills, and used to go by Insted when I lived in Los Angeles which is where I was born and raised. Once I moved to New York I changed my alias to Raw Thrills.”

“Zak Mering aka Raw Thrills, is also known as Greatest Hits (current band with Tyler Thacker), The Sweethearts (with Sam Mehran of Outer Limits Recordings) and WARP with James Ferraro.”

A man with more time than creativity, and more creativity than talent! PURE MELLOWMAS.

Jason: I feel like I did something bad today. I’m going to go curl up with my John Denver and the Muppets record and try to pretend that I live in a world where Jim Henson never died.

Jeff: No need! Zak says “I’ve been making music about everyday for the past 8-9 years and have thousands of recordings.” I have your address.


About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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